The RSL is to take over the duties of the Russian Book Chamber

17 февраля 2021 года

On 26 January 2021, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Mikhail Mishustin signed an order, transferring the duties of the Russian Book Chamber to the Russian State Library. The decision should advance the implementation of government initiatives, proposed by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and other agencies, aimed at the development of literacy and literature.

Photo by Maria Govtvan, RSL

The merger will result in the establishment of the world’s largest national collection of books and information resources. Furthermore, it will provide for a more comprehensive collection and fill in the existing gaps, which is meant to both facilitate the long-term preservation of a richest book heritage, and enhance user experience, including through digital means. The combined collection will amount to about 200 million documents, thus giving Russians the biggest library in the world in terms of holdings.

Combining resources, as well as competencies and skills of the experts from the Book Chamber and the RSL will help to create a modern national book ecosystem, including in the digital environment, to bridge the interests of publishers, libraries and readers, and to provide new tools for promoting reading and advancing the Russian entire book industry.

Vadim Duda, Director General of the Russian State Library

In addition, according to the Director General of the Russian Book Chamber Elena Nogina, the merger of workflows, technologies, and best practices will eliminate duplication of efforts in such areas as cataloguing, accounting, and storage, streamline the digital transformation of the legal deposit system, reduce costs for publishers, and ultimately, improve compliance with the legal deposit regulations.

One of the priorities of the RSL and the Book Chamber will be to ensure that the Russian library network with its 40,000 public libraries is used to its full potential in order to promote the growth and development of the book market: its capacity is estimated at about 40 million books per year.

As for the place of the Book Chamber in the new structure, the RSL administration has stated the importance of preserving its integrity as well as its established relationship with publishers. Over the decades, the Book Chamber has been in the forefront of tackling key industry challenges, producing its own solutions and practices that will benefit the RSL and support its growth.